How do you choose an online school if you are an adult? Not surprisingly what you look for in an online high school is likely very different than what a teenager or a young adult might consider important.
There are a number of key factors to consider when selecting an online high school that is a good choice for adults including:
- How is the course structured? Will you be working with other students? Many online adult students prefer not to have high-school-aged students in their classes (because of embarrassment from not graduating high school on time). There are two basic kinds of schools; ones where online students interact with each other and ones where there is no interaction. A good question to ask a school before enrolling is about how students are required to interact with each other.
- Cost can be an important component. While there are a number of free online high schools, most of those are for students who are the tradition ages of about 14 – 18. There are a few exceptions that allow for online students who are 19-21. Beyond those ages, online schools typically require payment of fees.*
- How many of your previously earned credits will the school accept? If you earned most of a high school diploma, but did not graduate, you will want to make sure that your intended school accepts most of those credits. There are two reasons why they might not: 1) The age of the credits; and 2) They do not offer a comparable course. It may be worth it to get a transcript from your old high school and shop around for the best deal. It is entirely likely that some schools will accept none of the credits, some will accept all of the credits, and others will be somewhere in-between.
- The amount of time needed to complete courses. What you do not want, in all probability, is a program that works on standard semester lengths. You need a program where you can accelerate through courses where life has provided you with the knowledge taught in the course. Some online schools offer prescriptive courses where you are given the unit test and, if you pass, you can go on to the next unit. It then gives you the test for that unit, and so on. If you have done studying or reading on your own since high school, you will know some of the answers. You might even surprise yourself at how many you know.
These key concepts will get you started toward choosing the right online high school diploma program. The rest is up to you!
*If you are a school which is free and allows students beyond those ages, please let us know.
1. Can adults go to online high schools?
2. How to earn an online high school diploma from home.
Tom Nixon is the author of Complete Guide to Online High Schools.